Coire Ardair and Creag Meagaidh
|Elevation||1,130 m (3,710 ft) |
|Prominence||867 m (2,844 ft)
Ranked 18th in British Isles
|Parent peak||Ben Nevis|
|Translation||Bogland crag (Gaelic)|
|Pronunciation||Scottish Gaelic: [ˈkʰɾʲek ˈmekɪ]|
|Location||Glen Spean, Scotland|
|Topo map||OS Landranger 34, 42|
Creag Meagaidh is a mountain on the northern side of Glen Spean in Scotland. It is a complex mountain, taking the form of a flat summit plateau from which five ridges radiate, and is most famed for the cliffs surrounding the corrie of Coire Ardair on the north-eastern face. These crags are a renowned venue for winter and ice climbing, though being somewhat vegetated they are less suited to "normal" climbing.
All three peaks in the range may be climbed from Aberarder on the A86 road by initially following the path leading up Coire Ardair, before striking north to the summit of Carn Liath. A circuit of the glen may be made by returning to Aberarder by way of Creag Meagaidh's east ridge. The most direct route to the summit of Creag Meagaidh ascends from the head of the corrie to reach a narrow gap between the crags known as The Window. The Window forms the bealach between Creag Meagaidh and Stob Poite Coire Ardair. Creag Meagaidh may also be climbed from Moy to the southeast.
Creag Meagaidh is designated as both a Special Protection Area and a National Nature Reserve, and the number of grazing animals is controlled. This has led to a regrowth of the native woodland of birch, alder, willow, rowan and oak. The site is also an important breeding ground for many species of birds, in particular the dotterel Charadrius morinellus.
Creag Meagaidh National Nature Reserve
Creag Meagaidh massif is part of Creag Meagaidh National Nature Reserve (NNR), located between Laggan and Spean Bridge in the Central Highlands. The Reserve covers 3,940 hectares, extending from the shores of Loch Laggan to the high summit plateau of Creag Meagaidh. The Reserve was designated in 1986 and is owned and managed by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).
Flora and Fauna
According to SNH, 137 different bird species have been recorded within the Reserve. Of these, one particular species of note is the Dotterel, which is one of Britain's rarest birds, giving rise to the Special Protection Area designation above 750m. Snow Bunting and Golden Plover also breed on the higher heaths and summit plateau, while red grouse and greenshank are often seen on the lower slopes. The denser woodland on the lower part of the Reserve also provides a home for Chaffinch, Willow Warbler, Tree Pipit and Wren. There are three species of deer found at Creag Meagaidh NNR- Red, Roe and Sika. Deer management to reduce numbers takes place at Creag Meagaidh in order to facilitate woodland regeneration.
A number of nationally important plant species can be found at Creag Meagaidh, including Woolly Willow, Wavy Meadow Grass, Highland Saxifrage, Bog Orchid and Scots Pine. Over 120 species of lichen have also been recorded.
Creag Meagaidh has several designations, testament to its diverse range of habitats and important features- National Nature Reserve (NNR), Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Protection Area (SPA) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
- "walkhighlands Creag Meagaidh". walkhighlands.co.uk. 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2013.